What’s in a name? Emmett Reid Dunn and the Oedipus salamanders

When scientists describe a new animal species, they give it a name, according to rules of the ICZN, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.   Species names can honor a person or the place where the animal lives, or reflect the personality of the describer, as in the case of the beetle Gelae donut (Miller and Wheeler 2004).  Emmet Reid Dunn (1894-1956), who earned his PhD at Harvard under Thomas Barbour, expressed his sense of humor when naming salamanders.  Dunn’s 1921 dissertation on the …

BHL and EOL at the Ecological Society of America

In early August, I had the privilege of representing the Encyclopedia of Life and the Biodiversity Heritage Library at an exhibitor's booth at the Ecological Society of America annual meeting in Portland, Oregon. The theme for the 2012 annual meeting was: Life on Earth: Preserving, Utilizing and Sustaining our Ecosystems. This theme certainly fits the broader goals of EOL and BHL.